Gina Guddat is a very well rounded lady and I LOVE her approach- read her responses below & you will agree! Her impressive resume includes B.A., M.A. - Psychology, she is a Licensed Mental Health Therapist - Individuals, Couples, Teenagers and Families, specializing in Life Transitions, Communication Skills, Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem & Body Image, Stress Management and Relationship Issues. Gina is the author of “Love Metabolism – Turning Up the Heat in Your Relationship” on Amazon.com. Her impressive fitness resume includes: Personal Training and Group Fitness expert, teaching in a Seattle club. She holds multiple certifications from ACE, AFAA, Reebok, YMCA and AAAI/ISMA. Gina Guddat is a recent recipient of the Community Leadership Award from the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in Washington DC. You can find my reviews of her workouts here.
Lindsey: You are a Licensed Mental Health Therapist and a certified group fitness instructor & personal trainer; tell us how you tie these two together for all around health & happiness.
Gina: I am a firm believer that we must address all aspects of our health to be truly happy. We can get fixated in certain arenas and ignore the other aspects of whole health. My mission is to help people embrace optimum physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. We must stay well rounded. When I was a fitness trainer I could see how desperately people wanted to talk and process important things going on in their lives. This would generally come out during a personal training session. I quickly realized that I was already a “counselor”, I just needed the education and licensing behind it… which I eventually got. ☺
Everyone who comes into my counseling practice also gets a recommendation for a fitness workout routine if they are not already doing something active. Exercise fights both depression and anxiety. When people are working out on a regular basis it clears the stress hormones out of their bodies. I can make more progress in their counseling sessions this way. Fitness creates a more focused mind, not just a more fit body! I think it actually motivates people to tackle the other big “demons” in their lives. Feeling physically strong can empower you emotionally and mentally as well.
Lindsey: How did you get started in the fitness industry and DVDs in particular?
Gina: I started in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and group instructor when I was in my early 20s, thirty years ago. They were actually just beginning to certify professionals. I started teaching in my church but later expanded to create an organization of over 100 instructors. We would get together quarterly and put together routines. Later I began teaching in health clubs and managed the instructors. When personal training entered the industry I opened a studio in my home and also went to my client’s homes. I mostly worked with young mother’s like myself. In 1999 I started a non-profit foundation for Teenage Girls and traveled the country putting on “Fit Girl” events. It was so much fun! Not only did we talk about nutrition and exercise, we covered – boundaries with boys, fighting fair with your parents, choosing healthy friends, eating disorders, dealing with stress, self-esteem issues, etc. The Fit Girl DVD Workout series came out of these original events and is still sold on Amazon.com today.
When I was in my late 30s I went back to school to get my degrees in Psychology I wanted to specialize in Couples and Relationships. Most of my practice now is working with couples. I had a vision for a series of couple’s workouts way back in 2009, but the timing wasn’t right. The country was in an economic crisis and people were losing their homes and giving up their gym memberships. Finally, in 2015 the stars lined up and my good friend Larry Berg and I were offered a contract to film the series in Minnesota. It has been really fun hearing all the positive comments from people all over the country who are benefiting and enjoying the routines.
Lindsey: I have really enjoyed your Couples Workouts and totally agree- the couple that works out together, stays together; tell us your thoughts behind this series.
- Couples who work out together are more motivated to stick to their fitness goals. There is a built in accountability element that you don’t get when you go to the gym by yourself. It’s much harder to blow off your workout when someone else is expecting you to show up.
- Couples who work out together are more attracted to each other. Sweaty hands, racing pulse and shortness of breath creates physiological arousal that closely mirrors romantic attraction. Seeing each other sweat is actually a turn-on.
- Fit couples have a better sex life. Getting in good cardiovascular strength increases your endurance in bed. Building your muscle tone and flexibility allows for more diversity in the arena of positions and techniques. Plus, you can’t deny that you will be more attracted to each other’s bodies…we are visual humans ☺
- Couples that exercise together tend to eat better too. With all the effort put into your daily workout, who wants to blow it in kitchen? Couples tend to make healthier choices when grocery shopping and cooking as well. A fit body craves nutrients that fuel the muscles. Fried food and sugary foods simply become less appealing.
- Many of my “Couple’s Workouts” exercises, require you to hold onto your partner or use them for stability. Touching along with eye contact creates a surge in Oxytocin, the hormone known to bond people together in love.
- A shared hobby or activity like fitness has a positive psychological benefit. It creates a “couples-culture”. In other words, the routine turns into one of those thing you do as a couplethat signals “togetherness”.
- Couples that workout together are sick less and are likely to live longer. Nobody wants to think of outliving the one they love. Why not embrace the fullest, longest life you can have with your sweetie?
Lindsey: Do you have plans for future workout DVDs? (Oh see below, I am INTRIGUED!)
Gina: Yes, I am planning to do another series of 3 workouts for couples. These will each have a theme but I can’t let the cat out of the bag yet ☺ Let me just say, there will be some “friendly fitness fighting” involved – LOL
Lindsey: You have a such a unique resume – what piece of advice or insight can you share with ‘today’s busy woman’
Gina: Put yourself first and make time for self-care. If you are not taking care of your own physical and emotional health you cannot take care of those you love. As I mentioned above, try to stay balanced so that you do not ignore aspects of self that contribute to a complete picture of joy and peace.
Gina G – Author of “Love Metabolism – Turning Up the Heat in Your Relationship” on Amazon.com www.ginaguddat.com for more information
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